Rethinking Online Cancer Resources
October 1st, 2012 by Gage Pacifera
The Quick Summary
The current ACOR site is the entry point for a plethora of cancer-related listservs that are used by patients, researchers, caregivers and medical professionals. In the new prototype application, we expanded upon that functionality to give users more ways to get information and more ways to connect with each other.
The core piece of the prototype is a home screen that contains a list of feeds in a facebook-style format. Users can see three types of feeds: listserv, twitter and mendeley. Users go through a wizard to narrow down feeds that might interest them and then select which feeds to subscribe to. On the feed screen, they can share feeds through the usual social media channels and directly reply to listserv messages. The app also integrated a standard listserv setup, allowing users to manage their listserv accounts, view forums they are subscribed to, etc.
Working with the LISTSERV setup was interesting. It took quite a while to sort out the labyrinth of template files and the ins and outs of the admin interface for content editing. There was a lot of stripping out of 90s-era table based code to get the layouts to work out right.. I get the impression that it has been a very very long time since the core LISTSERV UI output functionality has seen any updates. But in the end we were able to work with it and create layouts that were pretty close to the comps.