I'm not referring to home-page in the website sense, but a central page that would be a jumping off point for all the stuff that you would care about on the site. It would presumably be customizable, and could/would include stuff such as:
1. Quick links to schedules (including data on what needs to be studied), recently studied materials
2. Listing of most recent alerts/messages
3. Listing of comments on stuff around the site
4. A small snippet for the site news, site announcements (such as new let's play stuff, worksheets, etc).
It could be a reworking of the profile page, or something completely separate. Could have stats, weekly rankings, etc.
My (as a developer) goal is to try and expose users to other areas of the site that they might not normally frequent.
I think what might be really neat is incorporating point number one - information on the scheduled study lessons - into a calendar perhaps? I know as a student I would find that very helpful for planning study time.
Just realised there was a thread on the topic already so I will just copy and paste what I wrote there here.
I think a Personal Dashboard (homepage) would be great idea to implement so it would mean less clicking.
Examples of things to put there.
Latest forums posts.
10 Vocabulary/10 kanjis you are having problems with.
Latest puzzles, games.
Your site ranking and score.
I really like the idea of the 10 Vocabulary/10 Kanji - a lot. Since we will be on the dashboard a lot, it would be a nice reminder of what needs to be worked on.
I also like the latest forum post idea. Building off of that, I think what might be more helpful, is a list of replies to your personal forum posts?
Okay, I took you at your word and didn't hesitate. *g*
Some of this may well already be under consideration, but here's my first-and-second impression after clicking around a bit:
-- I really like having an overview of all the recently updated forum posts in reverse chronological order, *much* handier than skimming down the forum for individual updating dates. I'd been hoping for something like this! Love it. Even more awesomesauce would be if it showed when an Unread post was made. (EDIT: A tab 'Subscribed posts' could also be interesting, in addition to the 'Unread subscribed posts', making it easier to find stuff again I was interested in.)
-- Ditto games. Here, for me even more customization would be great, as I play some games but others not at all; for me it would be even cooler if I could see, say, the last three recently updated Shiritori games but could choose not to have the Haiku game on my dashboard, since I don't play that. (Though I realise this is at odds with your aim of getting people to try out new things. Still, I'd looove being able to see more than one recent Shiritori, perhaps again with update dates.)
-- Love the Most missed top 10 box. (A link to the term center around there might be useful too?)
-- There is a spelling error in "The newest version of renshuu.org's mobile site is now avaialble!"
-- Would love the option to have a one-click way to get to the quizzing settings right from the dashboard. I could just have missed a more sensible way of doing it, but right now I reach the general settings by clicking on one schedule, then on that schedule's settings, and then on general settings. And then I never really remember how I did it.
-- Visually I think it could be good to have the profile pic on the dashboard too, even though it's a dashboard of 'stuff to do' not a personal profile.
-- I'd love for the grammar practice/grammar library to show up on the dashboard as its own box. For me personally, it would even be ideal if such a box showed where I last 'stopped'; I'm working through the grammar practice in a fairly linear way and having a direct link to the 'next' grammar item/expression would be cool.
[On working through the grammar library, I have a general point that probably doesn't touch upon the dashboard design, but while I'm here: as I said, I'm working through the grammar items in a fairly linear way, using the JLPT grammar. But I find the way I have to click around to get back to my grammar set (grammar set as in, 'the N5 grammar') after filling in sentences for expressions a bit counterintuitive. I would find a 'main page' with perhaps visual indicators (sometimes my brain likes things very simple and in bright colours *g*) for the grammar of one group (like 'N5') that I can go back to when I've written sentences handier and more tidy than the drop-down menu on the Grammar Library page.]
I really like the dashboard in general, I think it will be extremely useful!
Two Small Issues:
1) The "latest posts" box is slightly too wide on my system (Firefox on Linux Mint KDE) causing a horzontal scroll bar:
2) The "10 most missed" box shows doubles—there are only 10 phrases, but 17 lines because almost every one is repeated:
My missed kanji list is similar, but only has one repeated item.
EDIT: I just checked the dashboard from Chromium, and the forum box fit perfectly. It must be some combination of Firefox and my font size/face. I do find it odd that the "Mark Read" button is overlapping the vertical scroll bar. Chromium displays a styled button, whereas FF uses a native one. Maybe that is the root of the problem?
EDIT 2: I don't use chrome very often so I assumed the different button style came from renshuu, but it's just chrome's default button skin. Disregard that last conjecture. :-[
Thanks for all the replies. Let me work on it some today/tomorrow, will get some more up.
I am ALL for additional modules - since you will be able to choose which ones you want, I do not see a problem with having a lot of them (of course, there will be a default set for users initially).
Years Studied: since 2000 Studying: 自分のため、日本語教師だから
好 : 4,999
with the 'top ten missed' module - it might be helpful to see how many times it was missed, or what vectors are most often missed, something like that... a bit of 'constructive criticism,' if you will
Changes as of this post:
1. Dupes should no longer appear in top missed
2. Stamps added to latest post in forums
3. Second forum thread adjusted to 'subscribed', since having two 'unread posts'
4. Added more missed data to top 10
5. Forum posts - resized a bit so hopefully the 'mark as read' button fits better.
There are a lot of changes that aren't in yet because I want to make them part of the config screen, which I am going to implement tomorrow. Almost all 'options' on a specific box will fall into this category.
A few followup questions to various people who suggested things:
1. 'quizzing settings' - exactly which settings would you want? The settings you potentially change before each quiz (on the main schedule summary), or the longer, extensive settings? It seems like you wouldn't use the full setting list enough to warrant it being on the dashboard.
2. Grammar library - search will be easy - grammar 'practice' - I am not sure what you'd want to go in there.
Years Studied: since 2000 Studying: 自分のため、日本語教師だから
好 : 4,999
just noticed, under the 'subscribed topics' tab, when there are forum threads that I was subscribed to and no longer allow posting (mostly finished bug reports etc), there's no way to unsubscribe to them, and even if I hit the 'mark as read' button, the next time I look at the homepage it's there again! I've got 6 of them, and I can imagine it'd be annoying for others who subscribed to/started more threads like that who have to wade through them every time! Can we either automatically unsubscribe everyone from finished threads or allow for those to be deleted from the module?