More Looking at a Domain of One’s Own – cPanel
So I’m still getting settled at the new job. It leads to ebbs and flows in energy. I opted to lay off the “long goodbye” posts for a while as they were making me a bit depressed. It was getting rough to look back at selected highlights made over 7 or 8 years while I struggle to make initial relationships over zoom and email. VCU had plenty of hard times where it felt like what I had to offer had no value. I remember that. It took quite a while to get to know people and show them opportunities that both of us wanted to pursue. I’m also just trying to relax a bit more. I have a tendency to think way too hard initially as I struggle to fit in to the place and make sure I’m not making mistakes.
On what might be a more useful note, I’ve come back around to our Domain of One’s. This particular look will be at cPanel. I’m not sure how much we customized and how much is stock. I know there are options there but I don’t know the full extent of choice. I tend to figure out what I’d like to do in a perfect world and then go about trying to do it so with that, let’s take a look.
We start by showing people WordPress, Omeka, Grav, and Scalar as the things we seem to think are the most useful based on the priority we give them.
We can start thinking about whether this is what we want and how shifting what we present here might change usage, understanding, and perception.
If you scroll down the page, the next place we show applications is the “Web Applications” section.
Do we agree that ownCloud, MediaWiki, Megento, LimeSurvey, Joomla, Piwigo, and Drupal are the apps we want here? What’s driving that? Do people even get down this far? It is the 8th of 11 sections. It could very well not matter.
Maybe we need to think about the whole structure of this page and the language the guides its structure. I’m not entirely sure how much we can change but assuming we can completely restructure things, do we think this structure makes the most sense? It’s a mix of what we think people will want to see/change/use and what we want to try to get them to use.
Currently the order and language is as follow.
- web applications
I see some places for confusion. I couldn’t tell you the differences between applications and web applications in this scenario. Is there another name for software that might work?
I also see the chance to really restructure elements to parallel how we want people to think and what we want them to focus on. In a perfect world I’d want to blend options to get understanding in conjunction with options to take action.
All Applications Browser
I wanted to see what we’re telling people implicitly and explicitly when we put them in the cPanel app browser. There are lots of things going on here. I’m thinking about how things are presented in order and what language we use to categorize them.
We have 163 apps available. They’re in six categories (community, content management, e-commerce, Photos and files, Surveys & statistics, Miscellaneous).
When I look at it like this, I really want to remove a lot of e-commerce apps. They are third in terms of order when we present them and second in terms of total number of apps. That’s a lot of attention especially given we don’t want people using MiddCreate for commercial purposes. Granted you can use these apps for different things but by labeling it this way we are encouraging a particular mindset.
I also took the sub-categorization straight from cPanel. There’s more variance here in a way that’s probably good but we still have e-commerce coming in second. I did re-label some of the custom WordPress setups (Alan’s calling cards and Splots) as WordPress rather than CMS because I felt it was more accurate.
Bigger Picture Alignments
All these things matter but are dependent on our goals and the language behind them. DoOO initiatives are often focused on digital literacy/fluency and digital identity. There’s a huge amount of different ways to think about those things. However, when you come to this essential piece of the experience, is it reflecting how your group is defining the idea? Is the language parallel? Does cPanel end up helping, hurting, or doing nothing?