Elgg ergonomics... Clunky menu systems and lacking an intuitive feel... answers?

I have been struggling with elgg for ages now, it has many strengths, but an equal number of weakness too (from my experience).  I had a number of flirtations with Drupal (hard), CMS Made Simple (not really), Joomla (very neat, but not for me) as well as several others and have settled on elgg because it can work for Groups well, and it is realatively straight forward to assemble a basic website.

But one of the biggest bugs I find whenever I use my site... and this site!! (not the greatest showcase for elgg, I fear) is the ergonomics of it.  This site is particularly bad...

  1. no login on the front page
  2. Facebook connect dissapeared from the login box a while ago... why?
  3. have to scroll down to the bottom of the "Plugins" or other boxs in order to select the "more" option.
  4. The stats box after I log in is always empty.
  5. The menu system is very clunky (if you drill down, you are stuck with using the back button or going all the way back).
  6. Create new Groups seems to have stopped working.
  7. and I am sure many of you have your own issues too...

In Joomla it is possible to configure menus on pages (from what I recall), so that you can choose to have or not have a menu, and then have sub menues as well (breadcrumbs) etc.

Is there any way we can have the same one day?  Sure I appreciate it may take a while, but how can we have better website navigation now? 

Is it possible to "plugin" a way to better ergonomics? If it is, then I would like to see this a priority, and I would be happy to contribute to a "development pot" to get it done.

  • What we really love in Elgg is that we use it as a FRAMEWORK. We have redone the complete layout, tailored to our target audience. Sure, we started with the standard theme..and sure it would have been nice to start compliant. Got a setback because we were used to the clean style of the MODx (a place to learn how a CMS really should differentiate style x content x logic imho)

    But now: my vote would go to all the efforts like in 1.7: a robuust, bug free frame work while the Social Network creators focus on the views and the workflow.


  • @Carlos - I could only find 2 possible tickets from you and one was dealt with quickly (could be a different carlos) and the other was a minor suggestion without a patch.



    Are there other tickets by you that I'm missing?

  • Peter M

    I've been grappling with social site scripts for ages. Dolphin - well read the reviews on the net - I'm prepared to put the effort in & stick with Ellg mainly because as a script it seems to load fast in a browser & works well. My opinion is that the forums should not be based on Elgg social network script but something like phpbb or whatever opensource alternative is available. They are easy to use & navigate. To build my sites I use as a base a product webbuilder 6 (wysiwygwebbuilder.com) who have a fantastic support forum which should be used as an example to all. To build a social network an unfortunate fact is it has to basically be compatible with Facebook - menuwise etc. To re-educate users is not going to happen. One last point if you go to the webbuilder forum and notice how the site is populated by a community of users motivated to help & not try & dominate forums with an attitude of no tolerance for the uninformed. The admin moderators are fantastic

    If anyone is interested I do have plenty of server space/sql databases available for creating a forum for ellg users

  • @carlos - nice screen shots.

  • @smeranda - http://planetred.unl.edu/ is extremely impressive. Probably one of the top 3 Elgg sites I have seen.

  • I agree, it's an outstanding implementation. Congratulations.

  • Yes a great website... Hats off to you!  You clearly have a lot to contribute too... I'd be happy to help develop some style guidelines with you and anyone else, although I'm not a techie, I would do whatever I can.

  • @Cash,

    Thanks.. It's been long since I posted on trac, but I think the last time I did was a suggestion to modify the $friendly_time to call up the actual time in date/time.


  • abandoned

    @Peter M - a proper forum would be very helpful. Having a community of members-helping-members is fantastic and Ubuntu (ubuntuforums.org) is a great example of this.

    As we all know, this group discussion thing is a bit tedious and admittedly, I am reluctant to help out with questions I'm able to answer (for the newbies at least) because of it. With a proper forum (and the better search functions that come with it), I think Elgg will be able to propel forward.

    What kind of help do you need?

  • Peter M

    Hi Anna

    I am managing to get through most problems. However if a small bit of data somehow goes missing it corrupts the whole site. This is with a theme from ellgdesign.com. when theres a problem & I disable the theme the default ellg theme does not have a problem. I'm not in a position to create my own theme & have been through many. This last one is a paid for theme.