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20 Base Requirements for Online Publishing Platforms

20 Base Requirements for Online Publishing Platforms

Online Publishing Platforms are on the rise, but their usability is worse than ever. I would like to share, as a professional designer in the field, some insights about how new online publishing platforms should be made. Here I’m going to list a series of functions required based on the timeframe of interaction.

1. Basic User Management: The platform must allow registration of users, should send registered users a confirmation mail, should provide tools to edit registration data and profile, should provide ability to reset password, and should provide an option for privacy to appear in profile listings or not. Furthermore, users might be able to submit profile images to accompany their listings.
2. Article Submission: The users should be able to send their articles online by file-upload functionality or by filling a premade text form. Once the article is submitted or entered, the user should be able to view this submitted article by downloading a copy from the server (or following the preview link) in order to check if the article was submitted correctly and whether if it appears correctly. Only after the user previews her article by downloading or through preview link, she should be allowed to submit.
3. Automatic Triggers: Once the article is submitted, the system should trigger an event such as sending the submitted article for review or by adding the article to list of articles to be reviewed. If judges are defined prior to the article submissions, the system could also automatically assign a judge (or multiple judges) to the article and can automatically send an email to judges to ask for review.
4. Review by Judges: Judges will read and review the article, they should be able to access the article online, and enter score and comments and choose a status such as Proposal Accepted, Partially Accepted (Minor/Major Review Required), Rejected etc, once a judge reviews the article, the system should send an email to the user notifying the status and comment by the judge.
5. Articles Awaiting Moderation: The system should also show a status of articles that are awaiting moderation and review (to both to user, and the administrator), so that articles not judged or peer reviewed within a defined time frame could be reassigned to another judge. In this case, a function to reassign articles to other judges is required, this function should also send a notification to the judge. It should also be made that a user could request the change of the judge (only if the judge did not submit it in time). This function should inform the judge, giving a bit of extra time, and reset the article judge by reassigning a new judge, if the previous judge did not respond.
6. Updating the Article: Once reviewed by all the judges, the user should be able to send an updated version of her article, only if proposal is accepted partially with major or minor review. If the article is already accepted without review requirement by all the judges, this is not necessary and the system should take the article to next level. However if an update is made, the new file should be saved with a different name and timestamp, so that both the original and updated versions are accessible by the jury. After the user updates the article, she should be able to preview it, and only after preview, she should be able to submit for review.
7. Re-Review: If the article was updated, the same judges who did the initial review should again be automatically notified through email. Jury will then access, read, compare the new document and will update the status again as Proposal Accepted, Rejected etc. In order to decrease the burden on the judges, the process of review should be made maximum two times, but if required could be extended for infinite times until the article is fully accepted or the user gives up making updates.
8. Proof Read Version: Once the article is fully accepted by all judges, the system should automatically prepare a proof read version by performing spelling check, pagination and should prepare the final preview. The final preview should be accepted and confirmed by the user, at this moment this article will be locked and no longer be editable but can be withdrawn. At this step, the system also creates a PDF version of the article.
9. Ability to Forfeit: The user should be given ability to forfeit or withdraw her submission during the whole process; furthermore a penalty could be imposed as this action creates a waste of time for the reviewing judges. The user should also be given possibility to delete accounts.
10. Payments: Once the user approves the final preview, she should be reminded to make the payment for submission, if required. Payments should be made easy using a credit card payment, or other methods. The user should be notified once the payment procedure is completed. The system could also be designed in a way to create invoices automatically.
11. Post –Instructions: If there is an accompanying event such as a conference, the user should also receive post submission instructions and information such as venue location, travelling, phone numbers etc. A series of new functionality might be made visible to accepted submissions.
12. Social Tools & Optimization: Social Networks: The platform should have social networking profile pages so that people could keep a track of news through these platforms. Newsletter: The platform should also have the ability to send newsletters or updates via email to users in order to notify them of the news items. Search Engine Optimized: The platform should be designed in a way to be easily indexed and found by search engines.
13. Customization & Configuration: Customization: The platform should be configurable, allowing the update of deadlines, the publishing title, fee structure, brief, descriptions, call for submissions, tracks, sessions etc . by the administrator. Administrator should also be able to upload a logo or title for their event. Page Creation: The platform should allow content pages to be created and edited within the system, allowing administrator to create new pages to share information etc.
14. Search: The platform should have a search function to find submitted articles. The search function must be advanced, and should be able to search within articles, article titles, names etc. The results should be clearly given, highlighting the matches.
15. Sales: Most platforms allow the sales of articles submitted in the form of digital download, the platform should also allow this functionality, but should also provide an option for free-share, letting users download articles without the need for purchase, this option can be turned on or off by the administrator.
16. Tracking: The platform should track the downloads of the articles, because quoting is important, the user should be able to see who have downloaded or quoted her articles. The user should be provided insights about number of times her article is downloaded or accessed, and its comparison to other articles.
17. Time-table Generation: The platform could also have the ability to create a time-table for the conferences or relevant events. In this case, the article should be identified as Accepted: Short-Presentation X Min or Long-Presentation Y Min or Workshop Z min etc. These options and their durations should be able to be defined within the system.
18. Comments, Support & FAQ: The platform should provide a tool to get user comments and support tickets and to be able to have a frequently asked questions page so that the strain on the support team could be decreased. User Communication: The platform should have a tool to send a message within the system to users, judges and other parties, in mass or by one-by-one.
18. Comments, Support & FAQ: The platform should provide a tool to get user comments and support tickets and to be able to have a frequently asked questions page so that the strain on the support team could be decreased. User Communication: The platform should have a tool to send a message within the system to users, judges and other parties, in mass or by one-by-one.
20. Focused: The platforms should have several functions that are purely developed for the needs, these functions should be rewritten or modified by the computer engineer, as if you try to make a very flexible platform the usability would decrease, so it is important to analyze the aims, and to design the platform from the core to create the best experience and the most liquid flow and smooth interaction for the user.

This article was added on Monday, 27th of January, 2014 at 06.26 am by author Onur Cobanli Tags: design of online publishing platforms, publishing platform design. Read our copyright policy here.




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