´╗┐The project, I'm sure, was a good learning experience for the group.

The good points:

  • The design is very simple, but presentable.
  • The buttons are placed appropriately.
  • I found my way back to home from secondary pages, like Add Paper or View Feedback. The home button and the banner led were easy to find - although I'd say simple grey text isn't the most indicative of a button. I think the large size saved the home button from being lost.
  • The registration was simple and sign out / sign in worked fine.
  • I liked that the group included a link to a tutorial on how to use the "Track Changes" feature in word. I'm sure it would be useful to people submitting their papers. I, for one, never used that feature before.
  • The rating feature is very useful and well designed, although I'm not quite sure whether both "helpful/not helpful" and a scale-rating were needed (0 on the scale would pretty much mean "not helpful").

The bad points:
  • In terms of functionality, the project falls short - when I uploaded a text file with some text in it, then tried to download it for editing, I received a file with the same name, but the contents were "<script type='t" - nothing else, which wasn't even in the original file.
  • I've tried to "edit" and re-upload some papers, but I didn't understand where to leave feedback but in the paper itself that I just uploaded. I think there should be some way to summarize the changes that need to be made - via a form of some sort.
  • There isn't a date verification for the paper "due" field. I typed in year 201 instead of 2011 and it didn't notice. That could lead to problems for people with due dates.
  • It wasn't clear how to "nullify" the search and view all the papers again without filtering. I guessed I'd need to clear the search field and hit enter, but I don't think everyone would guess.
  • In form verification (i.e. the user registration), if the user enters something incorrect and the system detects that, all of the fields are reset, and I had to type in all of the information again (even correct information) instead of simply trying to isolate my mistake and get rid of it.

In general, considering the time constraints, this would be a nice project - the goals are not overly complex (not like our overly complex goal was), and it could be made into a good website if the upload/download had actually worked. I'm guessing the group's lack of experience in coding for the web was the setback. I've seen the transition schema from page to page seems a bit overly complex - most of these things, like the upload/download feature and paper listing, for instance, could have been placed on the very same page. It seemed like there were very few elements for each page but many pages, which made navigation harder. Given the few very simple things this website could do, they could have been done better.