Alaveteli Release 0.26

We’ve just released Alaveteli 0.26! Here are some of the highlights.

Request page design update

After some research in to where people enter the site we decided to revamp the request pages to give a better first impression.

Alaveteli 0.26 request page redesign

We’ve used the “action bar” pattern from the authority pages to move the request actions to a neater drop-down menu. We’ve also promoted the “follow” button to help other types of users interact with the site.

Alaveteli release 0.26 request page action menu

Since lots of users are entering an Alaveteli on the request pages, it might not be obvious that they too can ask for information. We’ve now made an obvious link to the new request flow from the sidebar of the request pages to emphasise this.

The correspondence bubbles have had a bit of a makeover too. Its now a lot more obvious how to link to a particular piece of correspondence, and we’ve tidied the header so that its a little clearer who’s saying what.

The listing of similar requests in the request page sidebar has been improved after observing they were useful to users.

Also in design-world we’ve added the more modern request status icons, made the search interfaces more consistent and helped prevent blank searches on the “Find an authority” page.

Admin UI Improvements

As an Alaveteli grows it can get trickier to keep an eye on everything that’s happening on the site.

We’ve now added a new comments list so that admins can catch offensive or spam comments sooner.

Alaveteli Release 0.26 admin comments page

For the same reasons, we’ve added sorting to the users list and made banned users more obvious.

Alaveteli Release 0.26 admin users list

The CSV import page layout and inline documentation has also been updated.

More stats!

The wonderful team at the OpenAustralia Foundation contributed an epic pull request to revamp the statistics page.

The new statistics page adds contributor leaderboards to help admins identify users as potential volunteers, as well as a graph showing when site admins hide things to improve the transparency of the site.

Alaveteli Release 0.26 leaderboard stats Alaveteli Release 0.26 hide events

Extra search powers

As if that wasn’t enough, the the OpenAustralia Foundation team also added a new advanced search term to be able to find requests to public authorities with a given tag.

Conversion tracking improvements

We’re constantly asking how we can improve Alaveteli. In order to answer that question meaningfully, we need good tracking of what happens when people make requests on the site. When we tried to track down whether people coming from social media sites were more likely to make a request than those coming from other sources, we found a problem with the way we tracked ‘conversions’ – the process of getting all the way through making a request. We were using a particular URL to mark the end of that process in Google Analytics. The issue was that sometimes, requesters would share that URL with other people, causing us to record the same request being made multiple times. We’re now using a little bit of javascript to make sure we only record the conversion when a new request is actually being made.

The full list of highlights and upgrade notes for this release is in the changelog.

Thanks again to everyone who’s contributed!