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Re: [GreenYes] recycling link for Greater St. Louis region
Dear Laura:

The brief annotations to the web links is a welcome feature.  I have two
comments on the web link list design:

1. Opening a new browser everytime a link is selected is, in my opinion, an
annoying feature.  I either risk ending up with multiple open browser
windows (which may cause problems in computers with limited memory
resources) or I need to close a window before I select a new link.  Users do
understand how to use the back button on their browsers.

2. Providing a long list of links that are not organized into meaningful
subcategories forces the user to scan each link annotation to determine if
that link is relevant to their search needs.  If a list is short (say 10
items or less), this is not too onerous.  However, the National /
International link list is close to 40 items long and I wonder how many
users really want to scan all 40 links to find the specific ones they want.
As the list grows longer, the scanning task becomes more onerous and
therefore the reference value of the link list diminishes.

With regard to the service providers database:

1. I understand that the use of the radio buttons for "any" and "all"
corresponds to an OR and AND type query.  However, I have found that not
everyone understands the difference between these types of basic queries.
Further, while the use of common words is understandable, it may also cause
the user to mistakenly assume that the dataform's use of the term
corresponds to its common meaning (yes, I do want to know about all these
items) rather than its more technical meaning (select only those records
where all checked fields are true for each record).  The result is that a
user may not understand why checking, for example, Books and Dry Cleaning
Bags will yield no results under Find All Items when they would have been
successful under Find Any Items.  A brief help file may be helpful here.

2. I am not clear on the search logic of this database.  If I select
"Newspapers" and "Curbside Recycler" and then search using "Find All Items"
I get no response.  But if I select "Find Any Item" then I get a listing of
newspaper recyclers who may or may not have curbside recycling services. Why
can't I find records of all curbside recyclers that handle newspaper using
the ALL option? Can you explain this result?

3. It appears that you can search for service providers that handle a
specific material, types of service providers and types of products for
purchase.  This strikes me as three different types of searches.  First, I
find that the current search interface which combines all three search types
on one screen as somewhat awkward.  I, unfortunately, don't have a better
design suggestion except to think that a grid layout may be more helpful.
Second, the report output from the search does not categorize the search
results but merely prints out one long list.  As a result, the user may
conduct three separate searches (assuming a need for each search type) in
order to get a properly segregated list but then this negates the value of
having a "one form fit all searches" design.

I hope that I have clearly presented my comments and that they prove useful
as feedback to you.

Sincerely,

Roger M. Guttentag
610-584-8836
rgutten@concentric.net

----- Original Message -----
From: Choose Environmental Excellence - Gateway Region - laura
<laura@ceegr.org>
To: <chris@grrn.org>; Greenyes <greenyes@grrn.org>
Sent: Saturday, July 21, 2001 8:25 PM
Subject: [GreenYes] recycling link for Greater St. Louis region


> We just started up an extensive recycling and pollution prevention
database
> on our website, www.ceegr.org listing service providers by type of
material
> handled in the Greater St. Louis region.  Please check it out, link away,
> and make comments regarding how it could be improved.  I am very proud of
> it, but these things are always a work in progress.
>
> We also have a great links section (if I say so myself) with descriptions
of
> sites so you can get an inkling of whether or not it is a path you want to
> do down before clicking on it and entering web site time warps.
>
> Laura Neuman
> Choose Environmental Excellence - Gateway Region
> 1915 Alfred Ave., St. Louis, MO  63110
> (314) 772-8787 x102
> laura@ceegr.org
> www.ceegr.org

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