User interface rework

We’re coming up on the end of the refactor for direct use of the database. While I think this work is necessary to the continued growth of the project, it has the distinct disadvantage of having been a large, long project with virtually no user-facing improvements.

So, well, let’s fix that. The next item on the roadmap is a rethink of the site’s interface and user interaction. The items that need addressing are, for the most part, obvious to anyone using the site. The two biggest ones for me are a unified, user-friendly way of addressing errors and notifying the user, and the create/edit forms. The first is, I think, in large part a technical discussion with a bit of UX work on top. The second, however, is a ton of UX work with a little bit of technical discussion underneath.

I’d love to see ideas for layouts on the create/edit forms. We’ve got a fair bit of information/interaction to present to the user, and some big considerations to go with. For me, the ideal is that we present the user with a form that requires the absolute minimum of interaction and extraneous work to create a fully-fledged entity. How we accomplish that? I’m less clear on that. If anyone has ideas on how we can present the fields we have now in a manner that is space-efficient and not overwhelming, I’d love to hear them or (even better) see sketches or mockups.