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Team 8 Design

Page history last edited by Basharat 8 years, 6 months ago




The Ning Platform



Our Ning site:   http://ppm440group8.ning.com


Ning is an online platform for people and organizations to create custom social networks. It has good integration capability  (hook) into other social networks. Ning's features included the following:


  • Activity: View an up-to-the minute stream of the latest activity across your network right on the main page.
  • Badges: You and the members of your social network can embed badges, promoting your social network and media players showing off your network's music, videos, and photos on other websites.
  • Birthdays: Show when it's a member's birthday so that member can be congratulated.
  • Blog: Blog posts are a great way for members of your Ning Network to express themselves.
  • Chat: Participate in a live network-wide chat room or private one-on-one chat with other members on your network. Chat can be positioned anywhere in the center column.
  • Events: Organize events related to your network's topic - whether or not you meet up in real life is up to you!
  • Forum: Discuss any topic in your network's forum.  Ability to add, edit, close and delete discussion.
  • Groups: Allow members to organize themselves into groups, where they can meet new friends and discuss group-specific topics in the group forum.
  • Leaderboards: This feature allows you to highlight your network's top members or content. The top photos, blog posts, videos, discussions or events can be displayed.
  • Music: You and the members of your network can upload songs to express yourselves.
  • Ning Apps: Allow members to add features and functionality to their profile pages with Applications.
  • Notes: The wiki-like Notes feature lets you and your administrators add pages of important information to your network.
  • Photos: Allow members of your network to upload their own photos.
  • RSS: Add external RSS feeds to your network's main page.
  • Text Box: Add anything you want to the text boxes on your network's main page, from text, images, widgets, sharing links by emailing it to friends.
  • Videos: Allow members to upload their own videos and embed videos from video services like YouTube.
  • Export: Allow administrator to export membership information.
  • Design: eye-catching themes, 80+ design settings. Or if you’re a design pro, use CSS to create your own look and feel, crear ICA own site.

    Business: build business in Ning, pose advertisements, and sell merchandise, advertisement for ICA. 




Incorporated into site.


Try http://clackpoint.com/ plug in for video meeting and chat

Try Google docs for collaborative editing. 

Try twitterTracker to follow certain keywords tweeted on twitter (like #ICA or #8thGlobalConference, etc)

Ustream might be useful for the actual streaming of the conference plus chat or For chat we can use the built in discussion.

Seed alpha site with data for testers.

May be useful for users to customize page via profile setting -i.e.  (limited capability of Ning)

Useful if a user is able to create  own calendar to  share with others. (limited capability of Ning)

Modify the menu bar to show Theme with drop down instead of listing all the available themes.

Create a site map (at the bottom of page) for users to click to get high level view of what is available and how best to navigate it (available to do with a higher Ning plan).

Create "contact us" (at the top of home page, part of the menu bar) for users  to submit questions or issues (available to do with a higher Ning plan).






  • Collaborative editing might be difficult. See #3 for 12/15/2012 - Parth
  • Need clarity on workflow for theme participants - where users will register to pay, then be routed to for them to participate in the theme discussions (and what kinds of email communication to the paid users) - 2/26/2012 - Basharat
  • Support - Need a mailbox for users to submit issues - 2/26/2012 - Basharat
  • Ning registration requires providing payment method, because it's not a free service.- AbdulAziz

          See Ning's pricing plan: http://www.ning.com/compareplans  

         There is no option to downgrade the service level from Premium to Plus or from Plus to Basic.- AbdulAziz

  • Essential functions like having event calendar are not among the basic functions of the service and requires upgrading the subscription level. - AbdulAziz 
  • See Work Completed section  #3 - Box.net 
  • The volume of new discussions push the old ones off quickly. Many of the old ones are valuable, but out of the sights of members.-Luyang

  • If there large number of members come into the discussion topics, it will make new members feel overwhelmed to start a new discussion. -Luyang 




Work Completed


  • 2/15/2012 - Parth -
    1. Created a new template using the built-in theme editor. Created some images in photoshop and wrote custom CSS to get the layout to work correctly (transparency layers, colors, spacing, etc)
    2. Created a groups section and re-named it to "Themes" added the Youth Conference, Main Conference, Theme 1 and Theme 2 as groups. 

                        (Note:  Per Prof. Mittleman -Requirement is to create couple themes - not all the themes.)

                  3.   Researched the use of Box.net and Google Docs plugins.  Ran into some issues. Box.net only allows you to upload files to share with others. Collaborators need to be added by email

                       individually (can't be added using the Ning database, requires manually entry) Google Docs is presentation only. 

                  4.  Investigated other plugins that may be useful such as clackpoint and twitterTracker. 

                  5.  Seeded environment with data in preparation for alpha test.


  • 2/17/2012 - AbdulAziz -
    • Create the team group, send invitations to the members and give the required privileges to enable members to update the website.
    • Upgrade the service level to enable installing the apps required to cover the system requirements.
    • Installing event manager app and configuring it to cover the requirements.
    • Enabling and configuring sharing the website posts to social media like Facebook and Twitter.
    • Creating an app in Facebook to allow integration with the group website.
    • Enabling and configuring integration with Facebook. Now group members can Share an item and view the group name as "via" in Facebook



Decisions Made 

  1. Upgraded plan from Ning Plus to Ning Pro to allow for additional features. 
  2. Selected four different applications from http://developer.ning.com/ningapps to install including TOXBOX and USSTREAM.TV from communication section, and VOXBOX and ClackPoint from collaboration section. Found out that TOXBOX is the most appropriate requirement for the site.
  3. Keep site and downgraded plan level as discussed  with Prof.
  4. Transfer of administrator rights to Prof.



Issues Log


1.  Request to Theme:   Some themes could be enter without "request".  Need to apply "request" to all themes. (date: 2/25/2012)

Outcome:  For alpha site purpose,  agreed a non-issue. This will allow tester to see the difference in ability to set "request" vs not.

2. Account set up:  Once user requested for an account, need email notification generated with url and a message that account has been approved and to be set up.  (date: 2/25/2012)

Outcome: Done. 

3. Support - Need a  contact email address in case of inquiries from user (date:  2/25/2012) 

Outcome:  Done.   mail@ppm440group8.ning.com  was created.

4. Limited to only one video chat for the site - cannot make video chat for each theme at the same time (date:2/26/2012)

Outcome:  Limitation of Ning. 

5. Simplify the main page by moving the summary of each theme to actual theme page.

Outcome:  Subscription  change -  due to downgraded of site plan, no longer able to to modify content in main page.  In group page, due to limitation with Ning, unable to add group content.




Testing Survey

click the above  "Testing Survey" link to see full details


Test Plan

Preliminary test plan was created by team in google doc until further clarity on deliverable format, etc.

Note:  Final Test Plan by TDT based on feedback from each team's test plan and final Testing Survey (by TDT).


Below is the Test Plan (created by Team) for a tester to execute:

Log on to Ning url:  http://ppm440group8.ning.com/page/main


Request for  login/password from the site.



Modify the account profile/settings (upon site request approval).

Navigate to the themes.

View  gallery

View a video

Create chat room (public/private)


File sharing:

Co-authoring wiki or document.

Upload  an image file (any format such as .jpg .ping .tiff .gif)

Upload a video

Upload a document such as spreadsheet, word or powerpoint.



Create  a new post or discussion.

View a discussion/post.

Comment on existing post.

Upload/attach a file to a post.

Click  ‘Like’ comments on blog posts.

Subscribe to comments and blog posts.



Request to log on to theme.

Upload a file (doc or photo/video).


Create a chat room.

Create a post.

Comment on a post.



Test Execution & Test Survey Results

Feedback by team (pre-alpha testing - 2/25/2012).


Test Plan Execution

Unit testing executed by team members while building the site.

End to end testing executed by each of the team member using the Team test plan and TDT test plan.

Average time to execute test plan takes 20 - 30 minutes, depending on the experience of the users.



Test Survey Results

Average time to execute Final TDT Test Survey takes about 20 - 25 minutes.


Spell checker on the survey questions (not sure if possible). 

Tie the sequence of the questions to Test Plan execution so it is more logical.

Move the demographic section to  end of the survey to set the tone on the survey.

It would be good to have sequence # on each question and also # out total questions that one is working on - e.g. 5 of 50 so user will know how many more questions to go before it ends.





2/18/2012 - AbdulAziz

  • Create an event

           1. From the main page, hit “EVENTS” button in the top bar.

           2. On the top right corner of the opened bar, press the button “Add”.

           3. Fill the event information.

           4. Press “Add Event” in the bottom of the page to save the information and create the event.

  • View an event

           1. From the main page, hit “EVENTS” button in the top bar.

           2. Select from “Upcoming Events”, “Past Events” or “My Events”.

           3. A list of Events will be viewed, select anyone of them to view the details.

  • Sending invitation(s) to recipients and allowing RSVPs

           1. From the main page, hit “INVITE” button in the top bar.

           2. Select from the preferred method to send the invitation.

           3. Fill out the required fields.

           4. Press “Send invitations” button to complete the process and send the invitation."

  • Facebook and Twitter sharing

           1. From the opened blog, photo or video, find the “Share” button on the bottom.

           2. Select what social network you want to share the item to.

           3. Complete entering the information in the social network then hit appropriate submit button.

  • Sharing an item and viewing the group name as "via" in Facebook

           1. From the opened blog, photo or video, find the “FaceBook” button on the bottom.

           2. Press Facebook button.

           3. Enter your log in details and hit login.

           4. You will be redirected to your Facebook account to enter a comment if you want, hit submit Cwhen you’re done. 



Recommendations to ICA

Factor in learning curve in administration and design using Ning and how consistent in the "look n' feel" it is with other ICA's  websites.

Request examples from ICA key sponsors  to the certain style of sites they like.

Helpful to provide link with instructions when user sign on as a member to include in the "welcome" package.

Consider creating a spreadsheet (matrix) to identify features with the plan so if later decide to downgrade or upgrade be able to easily identify the impact of the change(s) to the site.

Build in quality gates and multiple rounds of testing  in the overall Test Plan - e.g.  multiple rounds of feedback:  professor for feedback, web students from Prof.'s web class,  ICA key stakeholders , other teams within this class/ students from other college.

Clearly define the gadgets and browsers supported by the ICA conference site in order to avoid unforeseeable support issues on 11th hour.

Data check on the site - e.g. user reported link to video was outdated.


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