Help

Introduction

This page provides a general help for the site. Some pages contain a help section that covers issues specific to them.

The site has been designed in a way to make things intuitive and easy to learn. While I tried to explain even the simplest things below, I imagine it's not necessary to read it right away. Try using the site first and come back here if you don't understand something.

The interface follows a few simple rules:

  • Data is organized into objects that are related to each other. Some examples: a timesheet belongs to a user, investigator and project. Project belongs to partner, etc. Most users (monitors) will only interact with two object types - timesheets and visits.
  • For every object there are four kinds of pages - index, view, add and edit. Index shows us a list of objects (e.g. a list of timesheets). View shows us a particular object in more detail. Add lets us create new instances of an object and edit is there to modify them.

Navigation

Navigation is split into 3 parts:

  • Primary links: in the top-right corner. For now, just the link to your profile and log in / log out links.
  • Secondary links: right above the horizontal bar. Main links to visits and timesheets.
  • Tertiary links: below the horizontal bar (not always shown). These are local links to pages relevant to the current situation.

Types of pages

Index page

Index pages display a list of object instances. Results are paginated - split into pages containing up to 20 records.

Click on column header's title to set the sort order by that column (e.g. click on Investigator to sort results by investigator's name). Re-click a header for a descending order.

Links in actions column let you view, edit and delete a visit.

Index pages of visits and timesheets have some extra functionalities - filters and permalinks.

An example index page: visits.

Filters

In the following paragraphs, I'm referring to filters on visits page. Filters on timesheets page differ slightly.

Filters serve two purposes:

  • they filter out displayed visits based on certain conditions (e.g. in case we want to see only those visits that were made to Dr House or Dr Lubicz).
  • they might hide certain columns from being displayed.
Filter by dates

You may enter a date range (or just a bottom or top end of it). Example: I want to see only visits planned to happen before 2009-07-15 and executed between 2009-07-10 and 2009-07-20.

Also, you may wish to exclude all visits which have one of its dates empty or non-empty. Example: I want to see only those visits that haven't been executed yet (check exclude non-empty in the executed line).

Filter by associated objects

You may also filter users by associated Users (if you have sufficient permissions), Partners, Projects and Investigators. Simply select one or more items in the select boxes to have all the others disappear from the result set.

Example usage: in the Investigators box select Dr House and Dr Lubicz. In the Projects box, select Aspirin. When you click on the submit button, only visits made to Dr House or Dr Lubicz in regards to Aspirin project will be shown.

Usage notes
  • Your filters are remembered by the server and are lost after a certain period of inactivity (when you don't load any pages on the site). Use permalink for a convenient access to often used filter sets.
  • Click on Clear all filters to restore default filters.
  • Associated objects only: by default, when you click on item A and then on item B, item A will be de-selected on the second click. Hold Ctrl key while clicking to add/substract items from the selection. Hold shift key to select a range of items.
  • Associated objects only: a particular filter is turned off when either all or none of the items are selected.

Permalinks

Permalink is a way to restore a set of filters in the future or on another computer. When you click on the "permalink" link on the index page, you'll be shown an URL (web page address) that contains all filters that you have set at the moment. When you (or someone else) pastes that link in the future, he'll have the same filters set for himself.

View page

A view page displays everything about some object's instance. An example view page: go to visits index and click on view link in any row of the table.

Add page

An add page lets you create a new instance of an object (visit, timesheet, etc.). Fill all the fields and hit on the submit button. If there are any errors, you'll be kicked back to the form and asked to correct any mistakes you've made. Otherwise, and object will be created and you'll see a notification. An example: add a new visit.

To make the selection of investigators and projects more convenient, we only display those investigators and project that have been associated with a monitor. To create these associations, go to user's profile and click on the associate link.

Edit page

Lets you edit an instance of an object. Behaves similarly to the add page.

Common interface elements

To make things easier to learn, the interface elements have been standardised.

Notifications

They're there to notify you that an action you tried to make failed (red), succeeded (green), or partially succeeded (yellow, rather uncommon).

The tubes are clogged, the e-mail hasn't leaved the house.
Congratulation, you've just sent an e-mail.
An e-mail has been sent, but some bug ate all the vowels.

Help tooltips

They provide a local help. Hover over them to see a message.

Date inputs

They're used to enter a date. We're using a common way to display and enter dates across the whole site (YYYY-MM-DD). Click on a calendar if you don't feel like typing the date yourself.

Links which toggle visibility of other elements.

Some things (such as a box which contains a permalink) aren't needed very often and would mainly provide interference if were visible at all times. Clicking on links that look like those below toggles the visibility of these elements.

something something else