The Node is almost 5 years old, and it is now time to revise its design and functionalities. To help us with this, during the last month we asked you to fill in a survey and give us your feedback. In total 169 people completed the survey, and many of you left comments and suggestions. Thank you all for taking the time to help us make the Node better!
Many congratulations as well to Paolo Panza (PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen, Germany), who is the lucky winner of our prize draw! Your bag of goodies from the Node and Development is on its way!
So what were the main conclusions of the survey?
1- Most of you first found out about the Node via Development or by word of mouth
2- Most of you keep up with new Node content by visiting the Node homepage
The Node box on the Development website and facebook are also popular. Interestingly, very few of you thought the Node needed to be present in additional social media sites (only 2 people suggested LinkedIn, and there was only 1 mention of Google+).
3- Laptops and desktop computers are the devices most often used to access the Node
This question was important so that we know how much effort to invest on the mobile versions of the site. However, if you access the Node mostly via your mobile or tablet please rest assured that we will continue to have a mobile version of the Node!
4- Most of the features that we listed are considered useful
The most popular feature listed were the highlighted posts on the top bar. Several of you also used this opportunity to point out that many functions on the site are not working properly, such as the like/dislike buttons, or the search box. We have made a record of all the problems you spotted and we are already in the process of fixing some of them!
5- Most of the content that we listed is considered useful, particularly the job posts and events calendar
Many of you didn’t know about the help page and the writing tips for Node bloggers though.
6- Most of the actions listed are easy to perform
But many of the people who completed the survey haven’t tried them yet.
7 – The majority of you quite like the visual design of the Node
However, many people pointed out that the current look is cluttered and old fashioned. So although you don’t want the look of the Node to change completely, a sleeker, more modern look would be welcome!
8- Most of you find the Node to be both valuable and enjoyable
Several of you left very positive comments, encouraging us to keep going and to continue providing a service to the community. Thank you for your encouragement!
9- The Node is read by an equal proportion of PhD students, postdocs and group leaders (at least among survey responders).
Many of you used the comment boxes to leave more specific feedback and make suggestions. Some of the most common ones were:
– Have more discussion posts that generate debate
– We should find a better way to organise the information of the Node, such as creating collections or categories for different model organisms or fields
– There were also specific suggestions for new content, such as protocols and technical tips, funding, historical anecdotes on major discoveries in the field, short biographies of eminent biologists, career advice, and even a Node podcast!
We will consider all your suggestions, big or small, and they are invaluable in helping us make the Node a better community site. Many of these changes can’t only come from us though. As you know, anyone in the community can write for the Node. You only need to create an account and you can post without needing to ask us for permission. So you can help us improve the content of the Node by contributing! Write about what you find interesting, start a discussion or leave a comment. The Node is here for you and together we can make it better and more relevant!
Finally, please keep giving us your feedback. You can get in touch us via this contact form and we are always keen to hear your thoughts and suggestions!