I would like this to be a feature request, but would first like to get feedback.
I feel the current system of identifications, agreements and comments is very hard to track especially on observations with lots of some or all of the above, and very especially on obs with taxon swaps, e.g. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/10827632 . Trying to find the ID one wants to agree to is a time-consuming exercise.
I also feel that the Identifier and the Agree-ers are two different things and should be separated. This will also limit the number of people who agree compulsively just to go up the leaderboard.
I am very aware of how hard the devs work, and the absolutely amazing functionality of this fantastic platform. I am not in any way intending to be dismissive of the current setup. This is just a suggestion from a user’s POV for perhaps streamlining the visualisation of the huge amounts of data.
So my proposals are thus:
- Separate IDs from agreements-to-IDs and compact the ID section.
- Separate the comments section from the IDs section.
- Add a confidence level to IDs.
- Add an Other Observations section under the IDs of thumbnails of other obs with the same community ID.
- Remove the blocks of thumbnails from the bottom of the page (Seen Nearby, Other Obs by so-and-so etc.) - these take up bandwidth and most people don’t even know they’re there anyway, and I don’t believe I have ever gone to look at them on purpose.
So, I envisage blocks of info (on the left of the page) like so:
And it would look something like this:
And here are some notes on the layout:
Note: I have left out the right-hand side of the page because that works fine as is, and reduces the size of the images uploaded on this comment.
When someone adds an original ID, I think a confidence level should be mandatory - something like Maybe, Probably, Certainly. Just like when someone adds a higher level taxon and the reason choice is obligatory.
Then, on the Identification leaderboards, only original identifications are counted. Agreements would be a separate thing and can have their own leaderboard, if necessary.
If someone tries to add a duplicate ID (rather than an agreement) a popup tells them that the ID already exists and if they agree with it they should hit the Agree button. One can only agree with one ID on an ob at a time.
I would also be very keen to change Research Grade to the simple Likely ID.
Note: I have not used the apps and don’t know how stuff differs, or if any of this could be incorporated in them. These suggestions are based purely on my experiences on the website.